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Laser Cutter Questions Answered

A place to post questions for the substantial number of people here who seem to have experience with laser cutting machines.



11 years ago

So, can you use a laser cutter (of the medium power sort people here have been using) to make printed circuit boards? I gather that copper is too good a heatsink, and too transparent to IR, to be removed by the laser directly; how about coating the board with relatively cheap paint and using the laser to "engrave" away the paint? And how about drilling at least pilot holes?

People tried to do this for years at the Media Lab without success. In the end, they ended up using a vinyl cutter to cut copper tape and a Modela mini milling machine to cut out circuit traces from blank sheets of the stuff. I have personally cut thin sheets of stainless steel with a 100 W IR laser cutter, but it was a dangerous and not very effective method.

So it can't cut through the fiberglass? Even if when you etched, you dissolved the copper there and went over the hole a few times?

I just ended up burning the fiberglass.

I was wondering that too. That would defiantly be a reason for one. Or instead of paint, cover the whole thing with Sharpie.